0435 GMT February 21, 2020
Orumieh in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan is one of the most attractive tourism sites. The city is home to wonders ranging from historical to natural sites. Persian Daily 'Iran' has listed some of the attractions of the city as:
The lake of salt
Also known in history as 'Kaboudan', 'Chichast' and 'Rezayieh' and despite dramatic decline in its water level — which has been blamed on years of negligence and mismanagement — 'Orumieh Lake' is still considered as the country's most valuable natural asset.
Orumieh Lake has been threatened by low precipitation and dust storms in recent years. Illegal constructions and overuse of water for agricultural purposes have also contributed to its rapid disappearance.
However, it still attracts visitors, who set up tents along the lake to take advantage of its pleasant weather and nearby natural wonders.
In the days gone by, travelers to Orumieh sailed across the lake to reach the islands scattered across it. They would swim in the deeper sections such as 'Kazim-khan dashi'. It is now impossible to sail and swim since the level of water has declined drastically.
Orumieh has become popular as a garden city. Orchards, gardens, groves and plantations are found everywhere in the city. Khan Baghi, Nazar Baghi, Delgosha, Siavash and Ferdows are only some of the city's gardens.
The city also has an artificial lake on which the visitors can sail.
Silvana is one of untouched natural attractions of the province, where one can find wild horses, rivers and rainfalls. Ecotourists and those interested in rural tourism are recommended to visit Silvana, where they get a breath of fresh air.
Dalampar is a mountain situated 45 kilometers to the southwest of Orumieh near the Iran-Iraq border.
Glaciers dating back to thousands of year, natural lakes, and rivers which are the result of melting snow and ice, are seen in Dalampar.
Dalampar is home to unique plant species, which have not been found anywhere else in the world yet.
Wolf, fox, golden eagle and falcon are part of the region's wildlife.
Rural tourism is one of the most interesting types of its kind, which one can experience by traveling to Kassian Village in Orumieh. Tourists wake up early in the morning to the crowing of roosters. Then, they have honey, butter and fresh milk for breakfast. The dwellers of Kassian are very hospitable.
About 45 kilometers west of Orumieh, there is an undisturbed natural region called 'Marmishu', which is also described as 'Lost Paradise'. Located near the Iraqi border, Marmishu boasts singing birds and enchanting sceneries, which make every visitor feel relaxed. Shrubs that grow along Nazlochay River are among the wonders of Orumieh.
The depth of Nazluchay River reaches between 40 and 50 meters in certain parts. A few months a go, a group of ecotourists cleaned up the region.
Orumieh has a ski resort, which can be used both during the summer and winter. Khoushakou, which is located 30 kilometers to the west of Orumieh, hosts sport tourists who are interested in both grass and snow skiing.
St. Mary Church
The church of St. Mary dates back to Sassanid era. Based on popular beliefs, St. Mary Church is the oldest church built in the East. The church has been also certified as the world's second largest church after Bethlehem in Palestine. According to historians, St. Mary Church served as one of the most important fire temples of the Zoroastrians before the birth of Christ.
One night, Zoroastrian priests witnessed a bright star in the sky, which was moving towards the East. They took the shining star as a sign for the birth of Christ.
Orumieh Grand Bazaar
Just like all cities of Iran, Orumieh also has a historical bazaar, which dates back to the Sassanid era.
Spread over an area of three hectares, Orumieh Bazaar consists of 1000 stores. Tourists can purchase souvenirs including local sweets and handicrafts in the bazaar.
Orumieh hosts the country's second national museum after Tehran.
Artifacts and objects dating back to more than 6,000 years can be found in the museum.
Historical mansions are found in almost all cities of Iran and Orumieh is no exception.
Ansari Mansion was built during the Qajar era. The luxurious house has a unique yard with beautiful tile works.